Los Angeles Maritime Institute was founded over 30+ years ago to provide educational adventure sails for at-risk youth. We do this and more as we head towards our third decade on the water.


Our TopSail Youth Program and our TopSail STEM Program continue to win awards and accolades from the education community, government leaders, and the maritime industry for our approach to leadership training, experiential education, and our ability to prepare youth for careers in marine biology and the maritime trades.


Our twin brigantines, Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson were designated the “Official Tall Ships and Maritime Youth Ambassadors of the City of Los Angeles by the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles. Our 3-masted gaf rigged schooner, the American Pride is the “Official Tall Ship” of the City of Long Beach”


You may be an educator looking to engage your class through our VirtualVoyage digital classes. You may be thinking to book a day sail for a field trip, to celebrate a special occasion, or create a leadership experience for your team or conference attendees. Our range of sailing and dockside options are what keep people choosing us for their group.

Welcome to Los Angeles Maritime Institute!

About Our Programs

Los Angeles Maritime Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that uses hands-on experiences at sea to provide an array of social, education, and leadership development opportunities to middle school and high school students in San Pedro and Wilmington, and throughout Los Angeles County. Our TopSail Youth Program is offered year-round aboard the Tall Ships SSV Irving Johnson and SSV Exy Johnson, 110-foot traditionally rigged vessels named after sail training pioneers who sailed around the world seven times with young crews. Our purpose-built vessels and their young crews were proclaimed the “Official Tall Ships and Maritime Ambassadors of the City of Los Angeles” at their launch in 2002.

We offer:
• Day programs and voyages
• Hands-on STEM learning
• Maritime skill-building and sea-time certification
• Boatbuilding
• Private charters
• Community sails
• Volunteer Youth Crew Program
• Adult volunteer program


The Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) serves to empower youth to discover their greater potential through extraordinary at-sea experiences aboard educational sailing vessels built to train and equip young people with 21st-century leadership skills, and inspire maritime and STEM career paths.


We envision a thriving community where every young person can look to the future with confidence and navigate successfully and responsibly in life.


Private charters for weddings, team building, retirement parties, and birthdays


Our Crew & Family

Executive Director

Bruce’s passion for the sea was ignited when his Dad and he built a 17’ Windmill in their garage in Orange, Texas while he was in the first and second grades. Today he is passionate about using his experiences and the sea to help today’s youth understand the importance of STEM knowledge and encouraging them…

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Director of Sales & Marketing

Alice is the Director of Sales & Marketing for the Los Angeles Maritime Institute at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro. Besides her relentless pursuit of grant opportunities, she has a great job of selling sails on twin brigantine tall ships that sail practically every day out of the Port of LA. She came to…

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Master Rigger

Jamie has worked in the traditional rigging and square-rig sail training since the early 1980s and built an extensive knowledge of traditional sailing ships. He has sailed over 30,000 miles as bosun, mate, or master on many square-rigged & traditional vessels including: HMAV Bounty, 1877 barque Elissa, topsail schooner Californian, galleon Golden Hinde, barque Star of India, brig Pilgrim, square-topsail ketch Hawaiian…

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Safety Officer/Volunteer Crew Leader

Jeff joined LAMI as a volunteer in 2016 and, after retiring from a long career as an electrical engineer at Honda, became part of LAMI’s full time staff in October 2020.  Jeff received LAMI’s top volunteer recognition, the Executive Directors Award, in both 2017 and 2018.  He also was Honda’s Volunteer of the Year in…

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Captain - SSV Irving Johnson

Hailing from Minnesota, Jacob has been a part of LAMI since 2016 after graduating from USC with a degree in Economics as well as completing the USC Nautical Science program. He carries a 100 ton near coastal master license and enjoys engineering and mechanical troubleshooting. These skills were put to good use during two repowers…

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Captain of SSV American Pride

Carolyn is originally from Pennsylvania where she graduated with a degree in Education with emphasis on History and Library Science. She has sailed the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes and has her 100 ton near coastal masters license. Her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking and gardening. During the pandemic, Carolyn created LAMI’s virtual…

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Captain of SSV Exy Johnson

Captain Garry Heinrich has circumnavigated the globe seven times! He has fond memories of riding the mast of the Peking while rounding Cape Horn. He’s sailed on the Pilgrim, Lady Washington, Hawaiian Chieftain and the Spirit of Dana Point before joining us at LAMI. Captain Garry taught middle school science for 25 years and coached…

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LAMI’s Crowning Anniversary Seaside Shindig

30th Anniversary Event LAMI’s Seaside Shindig SAVE THE DATE for our crowning anniversary event This will be a jovial capstone dinner with enchanting charm and entertainment. Date: Sunday, March 26, 2023 Time: 2:00PM to 7:00PM Location: Berth 73, Suite 2, San Pedro, CA 90731 RSVP NOW

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Welcome Spring!

Come Sail on a Tall Ship! Sail the San Pedro Bay and watch the sunset from the deck of a tall ship. You can sit back and relax or become part of the crew – your choice! Saturday, March 18, 2023 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM $60 – Adult $30 – Child (12 & Under)

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Ahoy Me Hearties Sail

Ahoy, me hearties sail! Saturday, February 11, 2023 4:30 – 7 pm Join shipmates & friends as we celebrate the love of thee and the sea. your best pirate garb is encouraged. BUY TICKETS

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Come aboard. Book our brigantines or sail our schooners

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Leadership, STEAM classes, and team building with tall ships

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Youth are our passion. Volunteers our superpower. Sailing our tool

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LAMI in pictures. See us in action

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